In a ruling by a U.S. federal court of appeals, a Michigan funeral home has been found to have broken federal law in their decision to fire a transgender employee.
The owners of the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home had claimed their termination Aimee Stephens were protected by a loophole of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; yet, this "religious objection" defense did not stand up to the protections that individuals are afforded under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to Reuters, this is the first time the court has considered the religious defense in this type of case.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled that anti-transgender discrimination is prohibited under Title VII, and the decision came with the overwhelming consensus that employing a transgender person did not pose a substantial burden on the funeral home owner's religious exercise, BuzzFeed reports.
With the Trump Administration's recent efforts to double back on the protections afforded to the LGBTQ community, this ruling serves as major victory for transgender individuals.